Europe News: Interoperable road charging demonstration in London

Europe News:  Interoperable road charging demonstration in London

This week there will be a demonstration in London of advanced new technology aimed at making it easier for drivers to use Europe’s roads.

Road User Charging is a policy widely implemented throughout Europe, and in 2004 the European Commission passed the Interoperability Directive, which envisages the ‘European Electronic Toll Service’ (EETS). When fully implemented, EETS users will be able to pay a single bill for road usage charges generated using a single on-board unit.

Road Charging Interoperability (RCI) is a European research and development project, part-funded by the European Commission, which has developed prototype equipment capable of meeting the EETS requirements.

In early-2008 RCI will formally demonstrate the prototype charging equipment in six countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland). However, the first prototypes will be tested in London, a city that operates one of the largest urban charging schemes in Europe.

Two vehicles equipped with the RCI equipment will be driven around Central London during the week before Christmas to test how EETS units might perform in London.

The three-year Road Charging Interoperability project began in June 2005. The RCI Consortium currently consists of 27 partners, including toll operators, suppliers, truck makers, representatives of both the DSRC and the CN/GNSS communities, and some specialist companies providing expertise on the relevant research issues.

The RCI partners are: AGES, AISCAT, ASECAP, ASETA, ASFA, ASFINAG, Autostrade, Axxes, Cofiroute, ELEM S.p.A., Ertico, Fela Management AG, Ian Catling Consultancy, ISIS (EGIS), Kapsch TrafficCom AG, LogicaCMG, Q-Free ASA, Rapp Trans, Servi Abertis, SICE S.A., SINELEC, Swiss Customs Association, Technolution, Thales Transportation Systems, T-Systems, TÜV and VOLVO Technology Corp.

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